CATCHING CONTENTMENT: HOW TO BE HOLY SATISFIED
Published by IVP and available now in Christian bookshops and online. You can order it on Amazon here.
Here’s the description:
‘Contentment may not be what we expect. It may be more profound than we imagine. But it is within easy reach of all of us. If anyone has a right to feel angry with life, then the author is a strong candidate. Having battled with lung disease from a young age, suffered at the hands of bullies, and, reluctantly, given up her much-loved teaching job, she has plenty to complain about. But she has made a point of exploring contentment. She has drawn particularly on Paul’s letter to the Philippians. ‘Contentment is something we can all catch hold of,’ she believes, ‘whatever circumstances we find ourselves in.’ This is a message which we need to hear, whether we are lifelong sufferers, like the author, or facing deprivation or injustice of another sort. Or we may simply have fallen into bad habits. We cannot fail to be uplifted, and hopefully transformed, by the author’s discoveries as we learn to buck trends within society and the church.’
And here are a few commendations…
This is the best book I’ve read in the last five years! It’s honest and real and full of truth, but truth that builds up and encourages; a journey into knowing that God doesn’t always heal us physically, or change the painful circumstances in our lives, but He will always “come into the dust” of our sickness and pain with us, bringing His transforming love and comfort.
Jennifer Rees-Larcombe – Author, Speaker and founder of Beauty from Ashes
This refreshingly honest book about holding onto faith whilst living with disabling ill health, names struggles which many share, but few express. In her charming and challenging voice, instead of cliches, Liz offers her own story, complete with the raw darkness and light of experience. It’s a gift worth receiving.
Zoe Heming – Lichfield diocese disability advisor, vicar and speaker
For years now I have watched Liz living with disabling physical pain, of a kind that most of us would not wish on our worst enemy, and yet in the midst of it, she has doggedly determined to walk out a vibrant faith in the God she worships. Despite the often well-meaning yet badly-executed attempts of others to pray her or exhort her into health, she has dug down into the riches of Christ, the eternal truths of the bible, and the persistent presence of her God and discovered the possibility of supernatural contentment. If you live with chronic illness or disability, you will unearth real treasures here. Everyone should read this and be encouraged into finding the contentment that Liz has learnt the hard way and now reveals in her highly readable book.
Anne Coles – former National Leader at New Wine
Catching Contentment is beautifully written with compelling storytelling and punctuated with profound Biblical truth. But its real beauty goes far deeper. In a culture consumed with the pursuit of comfort and quick fix solutions, it delves into the reality of pain with moving first hand, personal experience. It is deeply authentic, disarmingly vulnerable and teaches us all to hope, trust and fight for contentment in every season of life. No matter what your experience of suffering, this book is for you.
Phil Knox – Head of Mission to Young Adults, Evangelical Alliance
Liz Carter’s book is the story of a faithful Christian who finds confidence in God in the midst of pain and distress. Her quest for contentment with its realistic and grounded awareness of how she, and others suffer, is an effective antidote to the trivia we are often fed about God protecting us from suffering because we are Christians. Her testimony that you can find contentment in God even while living a life of pain is both challenging and encouraging. Roy McCloughry – National Disability Adviser to the Church of England.
How we need this book at this time! In our consumer world, lack can so easily erode faith and breed discontent. The ‘ocean of meaningful words’ inside of Liz has spilled out in this wonderful book – a treasure trove, which plunders the scriptures and the great Christian thinkers. With stories that inspire, prayers to nourish the soul, and questions to search the mind and heart, this gives the reader an opportunity to form a biblical attitude and mindset to understand and endure suffering. It is a passionate reminder, from someone who lives each day with challenges and limitations, that as we fix our eyes on Jesus and pursue Him wholeheartedly, a profound shift will happen and we will experience true freedom and contentment. This book will excite you afresh about giving your all to pursuing Jesus wholeheartedly, counting everything else as nothing for the prize of gaining him.
Nadine Parkinson – Tearfund/New Wine Relationship Manager, Developer of Tearfund Change a Nation initiative
Not a quick fix or cheap answers for shiny happy people, Carter invites us into a compelling journey of fiercely pursuing God, even when we are wearied by disappointment and loss. As someone who also struggles with chronic illness, I found empathy, hope and spiritual sustenance. Biblically anchored, persuasively written theology, Catching Contentment is a must-read for any Christian who wrestles with a nagging desire for something more. —
Tanya Marlow, Author of Those Who Wait and Coming Back to God When You Feel Empty, Writer at tanyamarlow.com
Liz has been incredibly open and honest in her beautifully written book. Not only does she weave in biblical wisdom, but she shares directly from the heart. I was so touched and inspired by the way she has fought for, and caught, contentment in the midst of incredibly difficult daily circumstances. I found Catching Contentment was a wonderful addition to my own quiet time before God, and can heartily recommend it.
Writer and speaker Claire Musters, author of Taking Off the Mask
Catching Contentment opened my eyes and introduced many new ideas and concepts that I’ve truly never thought through before. The overriding message I’ll take forward from it is that life truly is a journey of surrender to Christ as we move forward and let the past go. When we ask for and accept Christ’s forgiveness we can tap into His future desires for our lives and seek to be content as we wait for His promises to be fulfilled. I loved the practical reflections which draw us into the topic and help us reflect on our identity and contentment in a personal way.
Michelle Pannell, writer at Mummy from the Heart, the UK’s leading Christian Lifestyle and Parenting Blog
Two of the biggest questions in our culture are: Where can I find contentment? and How could a loving God allow suffering? In this profound book, Liz Carter tackles both questions head on, and discovers that reflection on the second question holds the keys to answer the first.
This moving and thoughtful study is rooted in the reality of Liz’s own struggle with lifelong illness—always honest, but never self-indulgent. But it is also rooted in reflection on key passages of scripture, as she wrestles with the challenges of her experience. Lastly, it is also rooted in the experience and reflection of other Christians who have wrestled with similar questions in the face of personal suffering.
Full of profound observations, this will be an important resource for those who are living with illness and pain, those who minister with and to them, and those who need to think these things through—which covers all of us! It unmasks the lie that fulness of life means always getting what we want, and holds out the hope of finding true contentment in God.
Ian Paul, theologian, author, speaker
This is an important and thought provoking book. We live in an age of profound dissatisfaction with everything: health, relationships, self image, lifestyles, poverty: the list is endless. But here is a book that courageously digs deep to help us find lasting contentment. This is not a book of platitudes or theories; Liz Carter lives with a long term painful and limiting condition, and writes out of the disappointment, pain and darkness which she has experienced. She bravely confronts the issues that she and other sufferers grapple with, digging out wells of truth to live by. Contentment is not a passive thing; it is a conscious choice, based on God’s truth embraced and applied. I am grateful for this book.
Wendy Virgo – New Frontiers
A TALE OF BEAUTY FROM ASHES
You can also purchase my bible study guide based around Beauty and the Beast on Amazon, in Paperback and Kindle editions. Here’s the description:
Do you ever feel like your life has turned to ruins? Or wonder where God is in your situation?
A Tale of Beauty from Ashes is a six-session Bible study course based around the 2017 live action film ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Each session – designed for individual or group study – will take a different aspect of the theme of restoration, using Isaiah 61 as an anchor.
Session One – A Tale of Restored Identity
Session Two – A Tale of Restored Pasts
Session Three – A Tale of Restored Hope
Session Four – A Tale of Restored Hearts
Session Five – A Tale of Restored Futures
Session Six – A Tale of Restored Ruins
‘Thought provoking and lots of bible passages which direcly related. Beautifully written, we looked at this study in our home (cell) group and found it produced plenty of valuable discussion.‘
‘I found this beautifully written six week bible study both thought provoking and challenging. It is a great way to explore Isaiah 61 and the carefully chosen verses are a perfect way to focus study of this classic story.’
‘It is challenging but in a subtle way and I found myself thinking about it long afterwards. It is beautifully written and I love the way it links bible passages to life today via the medium of a popular film. Thoroughly recommend!‘